Tag Archives: raised feeders

Would a raised dog feeder help my dog?

A massage client asked me this question earlier this week.   The dog in question is a Boxer (beautiful boy) who happens to be suffering from degeneration in his spine.

Although he is doing well with regular swimming, acupuncture and massage therapy, his owner knows that he is comparatively young (8) and she wants him to have a good quality of life for a long time.  So that’s when we started talking about changes she could make to his physical environment to make things less stressful for him (ramps, steps, etc.)

Would a raised feeder help my dog?

Raised feeders can be a real advantage for a dog with orthopaedic problems or arthritis.  Eating from a raised feeder helps to relieve strain on the neck and back, allowing the dog to eat without dramatically altering their posture and helping them to retain balance.

But – some studies have shown that dogs who are susceptible to bloat have an increased risk from eating from a raised feeder.  The most notable reference for this link is an article by Dr Larry Glickman in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Vol. 17, No. 10.

Gastric dilation-volvulus (GDV) is known by the common term ‘bloat’  and other terms such as ‘stomach torsion’ or ‘twisted stomach.’  Regardless of what name you use, the condition is life-threatening.  Dogs can die of bloat within several hours.   Even with treatment, as many as 25-33% of dogs who develop bloat will die.

In bloat, the stomach fills up with air and puts pressure on the other organs and the diaphragm. The pressure on the diaphragm makes it difficult for the dog to breathe. The air-filled stomach also compresses large veins in the abdomen, preventing blood from returning to the heart.

Filled with air, the stomach can easily rotate on itself, pinching off its blood supply. This rotation is known as volvulus.  The stomach begins to die and the entire blood supply is disrupted.  A dog with this condition can deteriorate very rapidly – meaning a trip to the vet as an emergency.

Purdue University ranks Boxers as the 16th breed most susceptible to bloat (Great Danes are the highest).  So, in this case, the owner decided not to opt for a raised feeder.  Not only is her Boxer on the higher risk list, but he also is a gobbler – making quick work of his food!

This is just one example where it pays to do a little research.  An idea that seems like a good one may not be so.

The Neater Feeder

Quite some time ago, Daisy’s breeder mentioned that she fed her older dogs “on the step” – meaning that she placed the dog’s feeding bowl on the step leading into the kennels so they could eat from an elevated surface.

Eating from a raised feeder relieves strain on an aging dog’s neck and back.  A dog also tends to raise its head after taking food or water into its mouth to help with swallowing.  This is the time when spills commonly occur.  Consequently, a raised feeder helps to keep the feeding area cleaner.

The pet market is full of elevated or raised dog feeders and some seem highly impractical.  (Yes – that bowl may look like a Tuscan pillar but it will also be top heavy – so unlikely to help you keep your dog’s feeding area clean) .

I think the Neater Feeder wins hands down and Daisy agrees.

Daisy enjoys eating from her Neater Feeder

The Neater Feeder comes with removable stainless steel bowls that can be placed in the dishwasher for easy cleaning and sterilising.  It has optional legs to add height to the feeder (we use these on Daisy’s bowl).    Best of all, the feeder comes with a drip tray.    Simply remove the top layer of the feeder and you reveal a tray which catches all the spilled water in it.  This saves time on cleaning but also saves you from messes on the floor.

The Neater Feeder is made in the USA and is available through a wide range of stockists and directly through the company’s website.  The company offers a 30 day money back guarantee on its product.

***I purchased my Neater Feeder; this is not a paid product endorsement***

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand